Hopefully most of you didn't even notice the earthquake yesterday.
Unfortunately, ancient pagan gods tried to circumcise the Washington Monument and National Park Service says engineers have found a crack near the top of the massive structure. The monument will be closed indefinitely
August 24, 1937 -
William Wyler's crime-drama film, Dead End, premiered in NYC on this date.
This was the first appearance of the Dead End Kids who later evolved into the East Side Kids and later the Bowery Boys. Producer Samuel Goldwyn brought the boys - who had appeared in the original Broadway production of the play - to Hollywood to appear in the movie.
August 24, 1966 -
One of the quintessential films of the 60's, Alfie, opened in the US on this date.
On its original release, the film had an all instrumental soundtrack, by Sonny Rollins. The Oscar nominated song, by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, was added for the American release, and to a British re-release. For the UK release, the song was sung by Cilla Black over the end credits, which went to #9 on the British charts. For the US release, the song was originally to be sung by Dionne Warwick over the end credits, but was replaced at the last minute by the version sung by Cher. Ironically, Warwick's version outperformed Cher's on the Billboard charts.
August 24, 1966 -
The (still surprising good) sci-fi film, Fantastic Voyage, premiered on this date.
During filming, one of the two 3 inch "Proteus" models used in the miniaturization sequence was left by an open window and was subsequently carried off by a crow.
It is believed that the original potato chip recipe was created by chef George Crum, at Moon's Lake House near Saratoga Springs, New York, on August 24, 1853.
He was fed up with a customer (the popular myth wrongly identifies him as Cornelius Vanderbilt) who continued to send his fried potatoes back, claiming that they were too thick and soggy. Crum decided to slice the potatoes so thin that they couldn't be eaten with a fork, nor fried normally in a pan, so he decided to stir-fry the potato slices. Against Crum's expectation, the guest was ecstatic about the new chips. They became a regular item on the lodge's menu under the name Saratoga Chips. They soon became popular throughout New York and New England.
You don't want to know how Crum got the vinegar flavor for that damn chip.
Today in History:
August 24, 79 –
The cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum were fired by Mount Vesuvius. Vesuvius, ever the vengeful volcano god buried those happening Roman vacation spots, apparently to punish the debauchery that made the towns famous. Tens of thousands of people perished only to have plaster casts made centuries later of the hollows their bodies once occupied.
Once again, People, this is what happens when a city goes on the cheap and starts scarifying any old whore rather than a proper virgin.
August 24, 410 –
In what was possibly the largest layoff in history, all of Rome was sacked (again).
The event symbolized the fall of the Western Roman Empire.
August 24, 1572 -
Troops loyal to the French crown alongside Catholic civilians massacre the Protestant Huguenots of Paris, estimates range between 20,000 and 100,000 deaths. At news of this carnage of this St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, a gleeful Pope Gregory XIII ordered celebrations and a medal to be struck.
Sometimes, you just have to be embarrassed to be a Catholic.
August 24, 1680 -
Colonel Thomas Blood, Irish adventurer who stole the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London in 1671, died on this date.
Captured after the theft, he insisted on seeing King Charles II, who had a reputation for liking bold scoundrels. Charles not only pardoned him, but granted Blood Irish lands worth £500 a year! .
August 24, 1814 -
The White House and other public buildings in the District of Columbia are torched by the British.
The President's wife, Dolley Madison and Paul Jennings, her husband's enslaved manservant, are torn away from Mrs. Madison's ice cream and candy making duties to save a couple of chairs
and an unfinished portrait of some dead Virginian Slave holder, Masonite and dope smoker.
August 24, 1932 -
Amelia Earhart flew from Los Angeles to Newark, becoming the first woman to complete a non-stop, transcontinental flight.
Setting a women's record, she completed the journey in 19 hours and five minutes.
August 24, 1958 -
Red China commences the shelling of the islands of Quemoy and Matsu, which hold one-third of Chiang Kai Shek's troops. The United States threatens nuclear retaliation for this, but the American people do not support the stance. A very strange compromise is worked out, permitting China to shell the islands on odd dates and Chiang Kai Shek's troops to resupply the islands on even dates.
August 24, 1968 –
France explodes its first hydrogen bomb, thus becoming the world's fifth nuclear power.
The Germans break out in an ever slight sweat. (The 1998 film Godzilla uses this particular test as the basis for the monster Godzilla, an infant green iguana mutated by the fallout from the blast.)
Another reason to hate the French.
August 24, 1989 -
Pete Rose is suspended from baseball for life for gambling
Remember, Pete just gambled, he didn't get shot in the ass with any damn steroids.
And so it goes.